(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)
More beautiful scenery escorted me to the New Mexico border and then I headed straight for Flagstaff, which was ablaze. Arriving in Phoenix with a day off, I spent a little time exploring Old Town Scottsdale. Downtown Scottsdale looks and acts like South Beach Miami but nestled in the center is a few blocks that kept the old west theme. Joining me in Arizona on a surprise visit were Kurisu and 2esses from the message board. Seeing some friends walk into this leg of the tour was a very welcome sight. The next morning, food poisoning knocked me out of action and I tossed them the camera and deputized them as tour diary photographers. I recovered enough to make the show and we headed over to the restaurant with our passports taped to our foreheads. The venue lacked the experience to pull of a sold out show by a national touring act and bungled the experience for those who came out to see the band. It didn’t matter that half the crowd seemed intent on talking and eating. The band’s engineer controls the knobs and turned the band’s sonic assault to full blast. Geese were drowned out and the band laid down a rocking set. The acoustic ‘Bea’s Song’ and a crackling ‘Sir Francis Bacon’ were the most memorable moments. It was Al’s birthday and the band and audience serenaded him during the introductions, which prompted him to move behind his amp. The local Scottish cultural center even sent some gifts over. Happy birthday Al!